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#1 stasia

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 11:39 AM

I am a real newbie. About to purchase my first rig. Beleive it or not the church I worked at, as Video Director owned along with a dolly, and jib a stedicam rig. The only problem is at 5'2 and 130 lbs, I found it almost impossible to operate. After about 10 minutes in the vest I was done. Here it is 5 years later with my own company and I am about to invest in a rig. I was looking at the glidecam pro4000 and stedi shooter because (victim of advertising) it was shown being used by a small framed women. I am old enough, to have hauled a number of 30lb chip cameras in my day. I am not afraid to work hard. I would love feedback and what rigs you all would recommend. My camera right now is a canon xlh1 (new high deff that weights about 12 lbs) all the work is for my company and video is fine (no film nessecary yet). I have also looked into taking a workshop in LA at Alangordon.

Thanks so much for the input. So glad I found this forum.
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#2 Afton Grant

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 11:59 AM

Hi Stasia,

I don't think being female or small would factor into anything. There are operators of all sizes, and at least two genders we know of. Being tired after 10 minutes could be a factor of improper operation, lack of conditioning, or most likely a little of both. Take your workshop and practice. Like any skill or physical task, it will get easier with time.

Regarding suggesting a rig, there are many options, narrowed down by such individual circumstances, it is difficult to be specific. Your budget and the type of work you will be doing should determine your rig.

In MY opinion, the Steadicam Flyer is the best option out there for the low weight camera market (and your Canon would fit it perfectly). Try them all out for yourself, however. DO NOT be a victim of advertising.

Best of luck,
Afton Grant
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#3 jay kilroy

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 01:58 PM

Stasia,

The fact that you are a small framed woman has nothing to do with your fatigue. It will get better with practice and improved muscle memory. I suggest you take a workshop. If you are planning on looking at the Flyer. Peter Abraham gives workshop geared towards the Flyer. The SOA also has a workshop scheduled for October. We usually have a Flyer there, but the workshop is done with the bigger rigs.

On a side note, we often have Laurie Hayball as an instructor. She is one of the best operators I have seen, she's petite and a woman. So again, don't think you can't do it beacuse of your size or gender.

jay kilroy
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#4 Jerry Holway

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 02:02 PM

We (and others) teach several women a year to do Steadicam at our workshops; it's much more about technique than brute strength. Some of the teachers we use are women with 10 to 24 years of experience flying a Steadicam, including the biggest rigs. And they about 130 pounds (more or less, my apologies.....)

Stasia, a workshop will not only give you skills but inform your buying decisions.

Jerry
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#5 David Allen Grove

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 02:12 PM

Agree on all counts w/Afton, Jay, Jerry.



I have only been asked how tall I am on two different occassions in 11 years of steadicam operating.



One job was on a movie with main actors who were over 6 feet. another was a music video..
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#6 thomas-english

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 04:12 PM

the first time I tried a rig on I got tired within a couple of minutes!.... perfectly normal....
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#7 stasia

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 04:27 PM

the first time I tried a rig on I got tired within a couple of minutes!.... perfectly normal....

Thanks so much for the information and encouragement. I will def..take a workshop. Seems foolish not to. I am also encouraged that my lack of success in the past is not something that can't be overcome with practice and work.

stasia
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#8 Bryan Trieb SOC

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 04:27 PM

As usual the advice is bang-on.
I would also suggest a combination of cardio and resistance training exercise routine on a regular basis.
Also, if you find your back is in a lot of pain after taking a workshop AND adding an exercise routine to your lifestyle, try a Klassen Harness. Many different combinations of different elements work for different people. There is usually no instant answer. Trial and error is paramount.
Goodluck and I hope you enjoy your new rig immensely!

Bryan
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#9 RobVanGelder

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 01:17 AM

I have only been asked how tall I am on two different occassions in 11 years of steadicam operating.


:D
And I got asked because I am a shorty, and the first operator could not manage to go through a tunnel system

Scratched my head a few times though, luckely I wore that bicycle helmet :D
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#10 Chris Konash

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 03:46 PM

Size doesn't matter when operating.


Attached File  1.jpg   171KB   386 downloads


Here at MSNBC this girl (5'1" @ 110lbs) is a staff steadi op (one of the best I might add) and she has perfect technique and posture, giving her the ability to fly the rig (55lbs) for more than 2 hours at a time.

Take a workshop, listen to the instructors and I'm sure you won't have a problem flying the rig again.

Good luck.

Chris Konash
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